Premier League Preview And Predictions: Brighton to Continue At The Top?

Premier League Preview And Predictions

We take a look at this week’s Premier League fixtures, focusing on Brighton and whether they can maintain their perfect start at home to West Ham, and a huge, early game between Newcastle and Liverpool.

Check out my predictions for last week’s fixtures here!

This Week’s Premier League Fixtures

Chelsea v Luton
Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal v Fulham
Brentford v Crystal Palace
Everton v Wolves
Man United v Nottingham Forest
Brighton v West Ham
Burnley v Aston Villa
Sheffield United v Man City
Newcastle v Liverpool

Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur

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Bournemouth had a hard ask last week, but the result could have gone differently. Bournemouth had a dream start when Antoine Semenyo found the back of the net after 3 minutes, but they could have had an even bigger cushion.

In the first minute, Anthony had the ball in the back of the net for Bournemouth, but it got ruled out as he was deemed to be offside. Had the goal stood, Bournemouth would have shocked Liverpool, and given themselves a 2-0 lead in the opening 3 minutes.

Despite how good they were in the opening few minutes, Liverpool started to creep back into the game, and we all know Bournemouth’s defence is not good enough to withstand pressure from a team like Liverpool for 85 minutes.

They eventually cracked, and then the goals started flowing for Liverpool. Even when MacAllister got sent off for Liverpool, it was too little too late, and Bournemouth could not capitalise on the numerical advantage.

It was a good showing from Bournemouth, despite the result. Last season they would have turned up to Anfield and sat behind the ball, this year they actually went for it, and on another day, who knows, they could have been lucky enough to get the three points. I like what I am seeing from Bournemouth this year though.

Spurs are another team I have been impressed by so far this year. I was not sure when Postecoglou was given the job, I thought he might be out of his depth and that Premier League life would not suit him, but he has proven any of his doubters wrong.

They were very impressive in their 2-0 win over Man United last week. This was their first big test of the season, and they passed with flying colours. Whilst on stats United may have shaded the game, and United had the better of the chances, Spurs made theirs count.

Had Rashford and Fernandes scored their chances when clean through on goal, we could be looking at a completely different scoreline, but Spurs held on rode their luck, put on some impressive attacking football in the end, and could have won by more than the two goals.

The only issue with Spurs, is that Richarlison is not good enough to lead the line. He was guilty of being in the wrong position multiple times in their game against United, and if he he been in the right position, would have had a great chance to score. Spurs need to sign a striker before the transfer window ends, they cannot rely on Richarlison or Son to fill in.

This is going to be a very entertaining game against two new-look sides. With the way that Postecoglou likes to control possession, and Bournemouth’s inability to withstand long spells of pressure, I think Spurs will put on another impressive display and win here.

Prediction: Bournemouth 1 – 3 Tottenham Hotspur

Everton v Wolves

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Everton are in big trouble again this year. After securing survival by the skin of their teeth, you would expect them to go out and spend big on players to help make them competitive again in the league. Instead, they have brought in Ashley Young for free, Danjuma on loan, Jack Harrison on loan from a relegated Leeds side, and Chermiti, who is yet to make an appearance.

Those signings do not scream Premier League safety, and Everton’s performances in their first two games do not either. They were okay against Fulham, they did not take their chances, and on another day could have easily won that game, but against Aston Villa they were awful.

It was not even as if they were still in the game at 1-0, they were all over the place. Pickford gives away a needless penalty, and the game slowly moves out of sight. Then, they collapse late on and concede twice from their own mistakes. It is classic, comical Everton.

Big work needs to be done before the transfer window slams shut. They need a striker who can score goals, and who can drop deep and help with the build-up play, but those do not come cheap. This could be another long season for Everton, and I am not sure they are fully equipped to survive this season.

Could Wolves be in a similar situation this year? When Gary O’Neil was named their new managed I thought so, but after their performance against Man United, I thought maybe they would come good throughout the course of the season.

The issue with Wolves, is that some problems keep cropping up season after season. They do not have a player who can consistently score goals, and that showed again when they played Brighton last week.

Against United, they had enough chances to win the game, yet they lost. Against Brighton, they had just as many attempts on goal as the away team, yet they lost 4-1. Getting rid of Raul Jiminez was a terrible decision, especially selling him to another Premier League club. He is exactly the kind of player Wolves need right now.

You would expect Wolves to spend on an attacker before the transfer window closes, but they have already spent big on Matheus Cunha. They have a big week ahead of them here. A loss against Everton will force their hand, and they will have to spend, especially if they do not score.

Overall though, I do think Wolves will be safe. Over the course of the season, if they keep creating chances, they will find the back of the net eventually. They need to make sure they are picking up points against teams that will be lingering around the bottom of the table though.

It is far too early to call this a relegation 6-pointer, but that is the kind of feel I am getting from this game. Both sides currently occupy the bottom two places, and they both could be sat there for a while unless they sort their problems out.

I have not seen anything from Everton in their two games so far this season, whereas Wolves have shown a bit of creativity going forward. Due to this, I am going with a slender Wolves win.

Prediction: Everton 0 – 1 Wolves

Brighton v West Ham

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I thought Brighton looked good last year, but they look irresistible this season. Just how far can they go this season? They have won both of their games this season 4-1, Mitoma is on fire, Solly March is the joint top goal scorer in the league, and Brighton sits top of the table. How much better could it get?

Admittedly, they have only played Luton and a struggling Wolves side, and we can only really judge them after they play a few more teams and some of the top 6, but it bodes well for the rest of the season, especially if they can continue on like this.

Despite creating the same as Wolves did, Brighton blew them away with their smart finishing. Mitoma was back to his best, and is one player I think will surprise people this season. He will create more, and score more, than he did in his previous seasons, and I would not be surprised to see him get a big money move in January or next summer.

There are others surprising at Brighton too. The form of Solly March may have caught the eye of a few, scoring 3 goals in his 2 games so far, and the performances of Estupinan, the full-back getting a goal and 2 assists in his 2 games so far.

It is an exciting time ahead for Brighton. Could they push for a top 4 spot this season? How will they fare in Europe? Is it time for them to win a trophy too? They must be within a shout of winning the Carabao Cup or FA Cup this season, especially if they get a favourable draw, only time will tell.

West Ham picked up a brilliant win last weekend, beating a new-look Chelsea 3-1. What impressed me most with West Ham, was the amount of chances they created despite having less than 25% possession. They matched Chelsea going forward, and created more, despite being dominated on the ball.

I was surprised as to how long it took a Premier League team to prise James Ward-Prowse from Southampton after their relegation, and a few teams may be kicking themselves after watching his debut for West Ham.

The midfielder grabbed two assists, and showcased his ability from dead-ball situations yet again, as he put a man-of-the-match performance in. Ward-Prowse is one of those players that could easily slot into a top 6 team. West Ham have got themselves a serious talent, and they will benefit from his set pieces this season.

It is hard to judge how West Ham will do this season. Their team is far too good to be involved in a relegation fight, but they have the same issues they did last season. They do not have the squad depth to deal with European fixtures, two domestic cup competitions and the Premier League.

They need to prioritise their Premier League campaign first and foremost. Another season of struggle in the league will represent a huge step back for West Ham. It will be hard for them, but there are a few teams in the league this season that are a lot worse than they are.

I cannot see anything other than a Brighton win here, but it was this kind of game they would slip up in last year. This is different though, they look much better going forward, they are more prolific and they have their confidence at an all-time high. West Ham will focus on set pieces to get themselves ahead, but Brighton will be too much for them.

Prediction: Brighton 3 – 1 West Ham

Burnley v Aston Villa

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Burnley did not play last week due to Luton’s ongoing developments to their stadium, and so have had an extra week to prepare for this game, which will have done them wonders after a 3-0 opening-day loss to Man City.

It also gives them time to bed their new players into the squad, and to adjust them to Kompany’s style of play. At the time of writing, they have brought in a total of 11 players, with a mixture of first-time and sporadic players.

Burnley were not terrible against Man City on the opening night. They caused the champions some problems, and on another day, they could have got on the scoresheet at the very least. The only reason they didn’t, was because of some brilliant last-ditch defending. If they cause these kinds of problems against other teams in the league, they will have no issues scoring goals.

Survival is the main aim for Burnley, so they need to make their home games count. They would have had a great chance to get 3 points on the board away against Luton last week, but that will have to be played at a later date. They need to take this chance against Aston Villa at home now to kickstart their campaign.

Villa has had a bit of a rollercoaster campaign so far, and we are only 2 games in. They were good in the first half against Newcastle in their opening game, and then capitulated in the second half, going on to lose 5-1. Last week, against Everton, they were much better. They forced problems out of the opposition and constantly looked to get on the attack.

Villa’s attacking options are very exciting at the moment. Watkins, Bailey and Diaby are all frighteningly quick, and the wide-men have the skills to match. They even have Coutinho and Traore on the bench to take their place. Going forward, Villa are more often than not going to score goals.

That is what they did against Everton. The linkup play was perfect as John McGinn opened the scoring, and a Luiz penalty put Villa out of sight before halftime. Leon Bailey continued his man-of-the-match performance with a goal in the second half, and Jhon Duran scored within a minute of coming off the bench to make it 4-0.

Everton were awful, but that should not take away from Villa’s performance. They forced mistakes from Everton, and they capitalised on it. If Villa continues like that throughout the season, they could be candidates for a spot in the top 6.

This is a difficult one to call. Had Burnley played last week against Luton, it may have been a bit easier, as we do not have much to go off on Burnley this season. It is vital Kompany gets his side some points on the board, so I do not think he will play too expansively. He will not want Villa to dominate and break them down. I think a score draw here.

Prediction: Burnley 1 – 1 Aston Villa

Newcastle v Liverpool

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It is hard to judge how Newcastle’s last performance actually went. Coming off the back of beating Aston Villa 5-1, hopes may have been high for The Magpies to cause something of an upset as they travelled to take on Man City, but instead, they looked a shell of their former selves.

Away from home against the best team in the league, and in Europe, is a big ask for any side, but these are the kind of games Newcastle need to perform well in if they are serious about maintaining a top 4 spot.

They did perform well on the night as well. Defensively, they restricted Man City to little, and the only goal they conceded was very fortunate to go in, it was well-struck by Alvarez and it was unfortunate that Pope could not keep it out.

Attacking-wise, they were poor though. Just the one shot on target. With how Man City have been defensively so far this season, Newcastle should have been able to force a few mistakes out of them, but they could not. It was surprisingly lacklustre from them, but I would expect it to be very different when they take on Liverpool in front of their own fans.

This is the kind of game Newcastle need to win. It was a hard watch for the last time Liverpool came to visit, and Liverpool typically have a good record against Newcastle. This needs to change for The Magpies.

Liverpool on the other hand, may have got away with one last week in their game against Bournemouth. Their defensive frailties from last season reared their ugly head against, as they could have been 2-0 down within the first 5 minutes.

It was slow starts like this that cost them multiple times last year, and it looks to be the same again. This time, fortunately for them, they managed to come back and win the game. Diaz continued his fine form with another goal, whilst Salah also got off the mark.

The only downside was the red card for Alexis MacAllister, one that looked extremely harsh. Liverpool have since appealed that red card and it has been overturned, meaning he will be available for this game against Newcastle.

Just as much as Newcastle needs to win a big game like this, Liverpool needs to win also, especially away from home. They cannot afford to have another season like last year, where they just edged into the European spots. They need to be back in that top 4, and back fighting for the title.

This should be the game of the weekend, full of entertainment, and full of quality. It is hard to predict how it will go, as Liverpool can either perform out of their skin or collapse in defeat. Newcastle can be at their creative best, or barely go forward like they did against Man City. I expect both teams to go at this though, and I think it will go down as an entertaining Newcastle win.

Prediction: Newcastle 3 – 2 Liverpool

Other Predictions

  • Chelsea 3 – 0 Luton
  • Arsenal 2 – 1 Fulham
  • Brentford 2 – 1 Crystal Palace
  • Man United 2 – 0 Nottingham Forest
  • Sheffield United 0 – 3 Man City

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